A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. Wednesday, April, 17 at the St. Stephens Catholic Church in Mt. Juliet for Mrs. Habibi, 45, of Nashville.
A memorial service was held Tuesday evening, April 16 at Sellars Funeral Home at Mt. Juliet for Mr. Carr, 75, of Mt. Juliet. A former corporate pilot and retired from Metro Nashville Government, he died April 13, 2013.
Funeral services were held Sunday afternoon, April 14 at Ligon & Bobo Funeral Home for Mrs. Simms, 94, of Lebanon. Born April 1, 1919, in Wilson County, she died Thursday, April 11, 2013, at Elmcroft.
Services were conducted by Rev. Don McElroy and Rev. David Freeman. Interment followed at Wilson County Memorial Gardens.
Funeral services were held Tuesday morning, April 16 at the Partlow Funeral Chapel for Mrs. Summers, 86, of Lebanon. The widow of the late George L. Summers Sr., she died April 13, 2013.
Funeral services were held Monday morning, April 15 at Immanuel Baptist Church for Mr. Chambers, 73, of Lebanon. Retired from American Airlines after 34 years and a member of Immanuel Baptist Church, he died April 12, 2013.
Funeral services were held Monday morning, April 15 at Partlow Funeral Chapel for Mr. Doak, 34, of Lebanon. The Wilson County native was born Nov. 4, 1978 and died suddenly April 10, 2013.
A celebration of life service is planned for 10 a.m. Friday, April 19 at Lebanon's Church of the Epiphany for Mr. John C. "Jack" Kinzer, 91, of Lebanon. A veteran of World War II, he died April 15, 2013.
Funeral services will be conducted 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 17, at Bond Memorial Chapel for Mrs. Freeman, 93 of Mt. Juliet.
Born in Nashville, the widow of the late Charles "Jerry" Freeman died April 14, 2013.
Funeral services were held Monday morning, April 15 at Watertown's Hunter Funeral Home for Mrs. Knowles, 90, of the Norene community. The widow of the late Lewis E. Knowles, she died Friday afternoon, April 12, 2013 at her residence.
By KEN BECK
The Wilson Post
Six days a week, waitress June Cupcake Andrews commands her second-shift post at Four Winds Truck Stop.
Not much slips past her vigilant gaze. After half a century of working in restaurants, shes heard and seen it all and then some.
She reckons shes poured more than a half a million cups of hot java. Thats a lot of coffee, said the waitress, who started here as a cook 44 years ago on April 3, 1969.
I enjoy meeting people. I like talking to different people. I guess thats the reason I stayed here so long. I made a lot of friends here, Andrews said.
I enjoy working. I cant stay at home. Id be lost doing nothing, said the waitress known as Cupcake by most customers. She gave herself the nickname back when she had a CB radio and needed a handle.
All the truckers used to say, Where you gonna eat tonight? Ah, well stop by Cupcakes house, said Andrews, who spent 25 years on the 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. third shift.
I worked a double shift three days a week for 25 years. I worked, slept and made it to the beauty shop. Ive always been particular about my hair and try to have a neat appearance. People dont want somebody sloppy waiting on em.
What makes a good waitress?
Personality and compassion for people, Andrews answered. A lot of my customers are like family to me. If I can, I try to find out about their lives.
And the hardest part of her job?
Listening to people gripe and complain about stuff, the straight shooter said. You meet some people who gripe and are upset about everything they order. Everybody ought to have to work for the public for two or three years. It looks easy, but really its hard work. I do the best I can.
Born in the Elmwood community of Smith County, Andrews moved as child to Wilson County with her family that included five brothers and a sister.
Daddy was a traveling mop and broom salesman. Later he made mops and brooms. I was a homebody, so I helped Mama. I learned how to cook when I was 10 years old, said Andrews, who attended Mt. Juliet High School for a year before taking a job at 14 as a dishwasher at the Ideal Caf a block off the Lebanon Square.
She later worked at R&R Barbeque in Nashville and then at Ross Drive-In (later Kings Restaurant) in Lebanon. Her first six years at Four Winds, she was a cook.
For the past 38 years, shes been waiting on people, sweeping and mopping the floor, filling sugar bowls and a dozen other chores that have to be done to make a restaurant run smoothly.
I try to wait on my customers as quickly as I can. I make sure their coffee cups are full. A lot of em get onto me because I fill em too often, said the truck-stop veteran, who has a daughter, Tracy Andrews, and two grandchildren, Brittney and James.
Among celebrities, Andrews has served such country music stars as Porter Wagoner, Tom T. Hall, Aaron Tippin, David Stringbean Akeman and Grandpa Jones.
The biggest tip she ever received was for $22 but not from the professional entertainers.
They didnt tip any better than most folks, she said.
Andrews boss at the Four Winds, owner Ann Butler of the Rome community in Smith County, has operated a restaurant or truck stop for about 50 years.
Shes more like a friend and a mother, Andrews said of her employer. They call her Big Mama, but I call her Miss Ann.
I love to read when I get my daily chores done on Friday (her off day), said the waitress, who collects angel figurines and babies her pet Scooter, a part Pomeranian that she bought from a customer at the truck stop.
As for the biggest change shes seen in half a century in this business, she says its been the gradual demise of late-night patrons.
It used to be, we were busy ever night. I think the economys got something to do with it. I never thought in my lifetime that youd see third shift closed here. We now close at 10.
Ive made a lot of friends from out of here. Its nice to know you made an impression on somebody, said Cupcake, an icon at the Four Winds, who bids each customer adieu with the words, Yall have a good day and come back.
By WILLIAM E. FARMER
If you havent been to a gun show, you have missed a cultural treat. The folks who regularly attend these events are average Americans who love guns and will be pleased to show you what they love about weapons.
The typical gun show is held in large areas with plenty of room to set up tables for gun dealers and gun collectors who display their guns of all types for sale or for viewing by other gun folks. It is a busy fun event organized to promote gun ownership.
At the gun show there are presently two types of gun sales -- licensed dealer sales operating under Federal law (required to perform a background check on the gun sale) and private non-dealer sales and gun exchanges which are not required to perform a background check to see if the gun purchaser has a criminal record or mental health problems.
Some non-dealer gun sales without a background check occur in the parking lot out of car trunks before the gun owner has entered the gun show. This is called the Gun Show Loophole and is the subject of the proposed gun control law debate. The question is, Should we close the loophole and require background checks? Or will this type of regulation impose a loss to our individual rights under the Second Amendment?
Will this proposed background check requirement extend to private gun sales that are not part of gun show events? Will such a check help stop mad men from getting guns or is it just an attempt to stop the unstoppable? What do you think?
We know that recent polls show that 92 percent of our citizens believe background checks should occur at gun stores; 87 percent want checks at gun shows; and 75 percent are for checks on private sales (See Time/ CNN, January 2013). The impact of the Newtown and other shooting events has left a mark upon us. But what is too much? Should the rights of law abiding people be constrained because of some mentally unstable persons? Those who have been victims or have lost loved ones from gun violence will say it is necessary. Do you agree or disagree?
If it saves one life, is it worth the restriction on our freedom? What if that life was someone you love? Can the proposed background check really make a difference? We are a nation of guns. There are an estimated 310 million guns in the USA, the most guns per person nation in the world.
The second nation with highest guns per capita is Yemen, a Middle East terror stronghold. There may be a message in that statistic.
One of our greatest Founding Fathers, President John Adams, believed our citizens will meet our civic challenges by working for the common good. In the gun control debate, what is the common good? I wish John Adams was here to help us.
The proposed background check amendment recently prepared by Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and others has gained some support in the U.S. Senate. Sen. Manchin has a high rating by the National Rifle Association (NRA). The proposed law requires a background check for a criminal record or mental problems involving all gun sales except to your family. Family includes your immediate family and in-laws and extends to your first cousin. In some areas of the country, being able to sell to your cousin without a background check opens gun sales to a large part of the persons county.
Under the Manchin Amendment, all sales at gun shows and on the Internet or in publications would require a background check or make the persons involved open to a Federal violation carrying a penalty of imprisonment for up to five years.
Persons who fail the background check are unable to purchase a weapon. Proponents of the Manchin Amendment claim the proposed law does not permit a Federal Gun Registry which is feared by many in the gun community. Opponents of the background check law point to the fact the Newtown tragedy would not have been stopped by this proposed law. Even so, the parents, relatives and friends of the Newtown victims have gone to Washington, D.C. to support the Manchin Amendment which closes the Gun Show Loophole.
The debate in the U.S. Senate will be interesting. After that the U.S. House will take up the subject. The House leaders have already declared the matter to be dead on arrival. What do you think should happen?
I suggest you go see a gun show before it changes. The gun folks are nice. Most are average citizens who love guns. They will be happy to see you. If the Manchin Amendment passes, the gun shows may disappear.
Editors Note: William E. Farmer is a local attorney who has served as Tennessee Democratic Party Chair and as a Lebanon City Councilor. He is a Tennessee Gun Permit Holder.
By SABRINA GARRETT
The Wilson Post
Interviews for the four finalists for the Wilson County Schools Directors job will be interviewed for on Saturday, April 20.
The four finalists, narrowed down from 32 applicants by Wayne Qualls of Teams Inc., include Dennis Albright, current Braxton County director of Schools in Sutton, W.Va.; David Huff, current Obion County director of Schools; Tim Sutterland, assistant director of Schools for Memphis City and Shelby County; and Donna Wright, current assistant director of Williamson County Schools.
Of the 32 applicants, two were from Wilson County. They were Tim Bell, principal of Mt. Juliet Middle School, and Wendell Marlowe, principal of West Wilson Middle School.
Don Weathers, chairman of the Wilson County Board of Education, said he was pleased with how smoothly the process has gone, since beginning in early 2013. Qualls was hired by the school board to collect resumes and spearhead the effort to narrow them down to a handful of finalists by April 20.
We are actively going to interview them on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. We have four really good candidates to select from, Weathers said.
Following the interviews, the board will narrow the selection down to two finalists for a final interview on Saturday, April 27.
From there we will make our final determination and do an extensive background check on that individual, the school board chairman said. We are ready to have our new director named so we can get on with other business.
Mike Davis, current director, has been named Robertson County Director of Schools and will transfer to the position when his current contract with Wilson County expires June 30.
Wilson County Election Commission and Historic Lebanon are joining forces to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Old Post Office groundbreaking.
The cornerstone for the building located at 203 East Main Street in Lebanon, which now serves as the offices of the Election Commission, was set on Oct. 30, 1913. To celebrate the event, Historic Lebanon and the Election Commission are collecting pictures and stories to create an anniversary book.
Historic Lebanon is excited to be partnering with the Wilson County Election Commission on this project, said Kim Parks, executive director of Historic Lebanon. This is an opportunity to bring Lebanon and Wilson Countys past to life through pictures and firsthand accounts of events.
Phillip Warren, administrator of Elections, said The Old Post Office building is the oldest public building operating in Wilson County. This building has been a witness to many events and changes in Lebanon over the last 100 years.
We plan to include personal remembrances as well as pictures to tell the story of this historic building and its impact on the lives of Lebanon and Wilson County residents, he added.
Warren and Parks invite anyone with pictures or stories about their experiences involving the Old Post Office to contact them.
For more information about having your story or pictures included in this book, contact the Election Commission at 444-0216 or Historic Lebanon at 547-9795.
A total of 98 people were selected to participate in the Lean in Lebanon program during the kickoff at SportsVillage on Sunday.
They will take part in the one-month fitness program.
Lean in Lebanon is a great program and Im pleased to see the Chamber and SportsVillage advocating a healthier lifestyle for our community, said Rick Smith, chairman of the Lebanon/Wilson County Chamber of Commerce. Im excited to see how actively involved the public has become and I look forward to the incredible results the program will produce.
During the kick-off entrants were put into teams, given a schedule and weighed in.
The program will consist of applicants working with a trainer learning how to live a healthier lifestyle. Activities such as tennis, kickboxing and educational trips to the grocery store is part of the Lean in Lebanon program.
The program will end with everyone participating in the Go Johnny Go 5k/10K Run/Walk. The grand prize for the Lean in Lebanon contestant is two roundtrip tickets to Florida compliments of Hartmann Plantation Apartment Homes.
For more information on the program, contact the Lebanon Chamber at 444-5503.
The Lebanon City Council will have a Special Called Meeting on Thursday, April 18 at 4:30 p.m. in the Town Meeting Hall.
From Post staff reports
Jennifer Petty Jen Whitener was named the 2012-2013 Wilson County Teacher of the Year during an annual banquet Friday night Cumberland Universitys Baird Chapel.
Whitener is a seventh grade teacher at McClain Christian Academy in Lebanon, a private school that students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade on two campuses. Pre-K through seventh grade meets at 528A Vance Lane (Camp Smiley), and eighth through 12th grade meets on the campus of Cumberland University.
She received an associates degree in 1988 from Volunteer State Community College and a bachelors degree in 1999 from Cumberland.
Whitener was among the Teacher of the Year nominees in 2005.
Whitener began her career as a teacher in MCAs pre-kindergarten program where she taught more than 40 students, all of them 4 years old. She taught them the names of the states, the names of Presidents, the correct way to hold a pencil and more. I taught them to dance, sing, and to have the confidence to show off their abilities to others. The connection I felt with my students during this time is when I first fell in love with teaching, she wrote in her application.
Whitener also wrote about her work for the next few years in what she called a multi-grade classroom and a male student who had a developmental disorder. I was able to challenge him in ways he had never been challenged before.
She worked with the student who eventually began reciting Bible verses and answering questions in class and who took part in a school play delivering a single line which garnered more laughter and applause from the audience than any other.
The next year, the student had a larger role in the school play and more lines than anyone else in a particular scene. Whitener noted the student was coaxed into repeating the line from the first school play he was in, and he received a standing ovation from the audience.
The connection we forged during this time is still intact today. This young man went on to become Homecoming King and will attend college in the fall majoring in astrophysics. I could not be prouder of him, Whitener wrote.
In addition to teaching, Whitener has also been involved in raising funds for various charities. She chaired for a number of years MCAs largest fundraiser for St. Jude Childrens Research Hospital. MCA raise more money for St. Jude than any other school in the U.S., she noted.
Other charities she has raised funds for include Sherrys Run, the American Heart Association, Gildas House, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, Soles for Souls and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
She said she has always stressed to her students the importance of connecting with the community through charities and added that she regularly takes part in food drives, coat and blanket drives and Christmas for Kids.
MCA adopts a family through Christmas for Kids, and Whitener said students use it as a real world math lesson with a trip to Walmart.
During the course of her career at MCA, Whitener was also asked in April 2011 to step in and serve as principal for the rest of that school year.
During a time of difficulty at the school, she noted that a number of families had left although others remained. The school year ended with a celebration of the hard work by the remaining students.
She noted the recent economic downturn affected the school and its families. We appreciate what we have; we live on what we need; yet we still have so much more than we ever thought we could.
Although the school has a low enrollment this year, but even so has managed to raise more money for its various fundraisers than in any other year, Whitener said.
She also serves on MCAs Music at the Mill Committee, which raises funds for the school and has brought entertainers such as Josh Turner, Ray Stevens, the Oak Ridge Boys others to Lebanon.
After a trip to five countries in Europe, Whitener shared her travel experiences with her seventh grade students through a virtual field trip in a double-decker bus she made herself. After another trip planned for this summer, she said she plans to share more of her experiences with her students next year.
As I grow and continue to see lifes connections, I inspire my students to see how we all work together in this journey, she wrote. I know we are all life-long learners, and I want to inspire them to see their own lives in the same light. School is only the beginning. As for my school-life as a chairperson, nurse, therapist, administrative assistant, chaperone, researcher, planner, playwright, director, booster club worker bee, mom-away-from-momteacher is just the beginning.
The 2013 Wilson County Teacher of the Year event is sponsored each year by Wilson County Motors and CedarStone Bank.
The names of 28 educators from every school in Wilson County, public and private, are submitted to a panel of judges who selects the final winner.
Those teachers are Holly Yelton of Byars-Dowdy, Kerry Veurink of Carroll-Oakland Elementary School, Kellie Porter of Castle Heights Elementary School, Stephanie Heath of Coles Ferry Elementary School, Carol Smallwood of Elzie D. Patton Elementary School, Greg Armstrong of Friendship Christian School, Donna Robertson of Gladeville Elementary School, Kathryn Horn of Lakeview Elementary School, Amanda Hargis of Lebanon High School, Stephanie Porter of MAP Academy, Jen Whitener of McClain Christian Academy, David Spence of Mt. Juliet Christian Academy, Tammy Shipley of Mt. Juliet Elementary, Jonathan Stricklin of Mt. Juliet High School, Carey Miller of Mt. Juliet Middle School, Lindsay Tate of Rutland Elementary School, Rachel Desimone of Sam Houston Elementary School, Geoff Luckett of Southside Elementary School, Rebecca Gullekson of Stone Creek Elementary School, Shirley Grant of Tuckers Crossroads Elementary School, Jennifer Yokom-Brown of W.A. Wright Elementary School, Amanda Polk of Walter J. Baird Middle School, Stefanie Smith of Watertown Elementary School; Veronica Minsky of Watertown High School, Carice Ambruster of West Elementary School, Scott Hoffman of West Wilson Middle School, Brad Dedman of Wilson Central High School and Nancy Smith of Winfree-Bryant Middle School.
Whitener received a $1,500 cash prize and MCA received another $500 for their efforts.
By SABRINA GARRETT
The Wilson Post
Dispatchers are on the frontline of public safety when it comes to handling a crisis.
Each hour of the day, these men and women answer calls ranging from simple fixes like a cat in the tree to traumatic events such as homicide.
Lebanon Police Department Communications Supervisor Courtney Sellars, who has worked at LPD for the past five years, said that calls range from power outages to wrecks and robberies depending on the shift worked. Typically two dispatchers work on one shift.
The first shift is usually administrative calls, public works you have morning traffic and may get a wreck. On the second shift you deal with non-administrative calls, 5 oclock rush hour traffic. Most robberies will happen between 3 and 11 (p.m.), Sellars explained. Then third shift is unpredictable. You might have five or six hours where nothing happens or you might have a pursuit. There is a lot that goes on after 2 a.m. in this city.
Chief Scott Bowen said that 911 is a transferring center they transfer those calls to us, and added that the team also handles fire and animal control calls.
Bowen pointed out that a review of dispatch was conducted from Oct. 6-12, 2011, in which they received 1,476 calls during the week of testing. Of the calls, 9.6 percent were Emergency/911 calls, 27 percent were calls for service and 63.4 percent were administrative or informational calls.
Conclusions drawn from the study were that the majority of calls were received between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and that the majority of emergency calls were received between 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
District 46 State Rep. Mark Pody and Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead stopped by the department Tuesday to each present a proclamation in recognition of April 14-20 being National Public Safety Telecommunications Week.
The job they do isnt easy, Bowen said. This just shows appreciation for the job that they do.
The dispatch team was pleased with the proclamations from the city and state and indulged in a pizza and cake party. Dr. Russell Kirk of the Tennessee Oral and Implant Surgery provided a pizza from Davids Pizza in Lebanon and Lodge 83 of the Fraternal Order of Police donated a cake.
In a press release, Wilson 911 Director J.R. Kelley said that in a week, Wilson 911dispatchers receive hundreds of calls requesting assistance in the county.
These dedicated professionals work side-by-side with the more visible components of Public Safety, including law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical personnel, and others to provide prompt emergency services 24/7/365, the statement read. Although rarely acknowledged, because they are not physically at the scene, these hearts behind the voices serve as vital links to emergency services within our cities and throughout our county. They provide an invaluable service in emergency situations and deserve our heartfelt appreciation.
By SABRINA GARRETT
The Wilson Post
Wilson County Commissioners decided on Monday to send a proposed payroll plan for county employees, which was on the floor for vote at the meeting, back to the Budget Committee for review by department heads before further action is taken.
The plan, as it was presented, would establish pay ranks for employees and also an annual 1 percent step increase for all general fund employees, provided the county meets a 2 percent revenue growth.
County Mayor Randall Hutto said that he did not talk individual numbers with departments regarding the plan until commissioners voted it up or down.
This was a direction you gave me, he said of the scale plan. It is a different philosophy than what we have had. The department heads would still have control over what they are doing.
Hutto gave several instances of how the plan could work and allow employees to annually increase their salaries instead of staying at the same pay rate year after year.
He shared a story about when he took a job with the Lebanon Special School District and to be paid the same as a veteran employee. Hutto said that he was told that he would not earn as much as his predecessor because he had many more years of experience but could work his way up.
Our goal is to help our employees, he added.
The general consensus among commissioners was not to kill the proposed plan, but to allow them more time to look at it. District 17 Commissioner Gary Keith said he had just seen the plan on Friday and was out-of-town over the weekend on a personal matter. I have some question. Im not against it, but lets work on the details, he said.
If you guys want to send it back, send it back. I didnt send it back to kill it. I dont think it should die, District 15 Commissioner Mike Justice added.
District 9 Commissioner Sara Patton said that she thought the plan would be on the floor to vote on the concept of it and to maybe consider adopting not for an actual movement.
Commissioners agreed to revisit the plan for vote during their May meeting - allowing those with questions and concerns at least 30 days to address them.
GALLATIN -- The Lebanon girls tennis team secured a District 9AAA home playoff match by defeating Station Camp 6-3 Monday, April 15 at Vol State Community College.
The Devilettes improved to 4-3 in the district and 5-4 overall after Monday's victory. The LHS boys team dropped a 7-2 decision to the Bison.